Posts Tagged: The Guardian

It Was an Honor Just to Be Nominated

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We would all love to pretend that we’re above the euphoric rush of gaining approval. But winning feels good, and writing that truth in its fullness is a key step to understanding it. For the Guardian, Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses his novel The Sympathizer and describes the fascinating sensation of learning that he had won the Pulitzer Prize:

I was writing emails when Facebook and Twitter began beeping and pinging, telling me that Something Very Important had happened.

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Belles of the Box Office

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The multifaceted Kirsten Dunst is going to direct a new film version of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and the lovely Dakota Fanning is set to star in it, the Guardian reports. “Dunst has co-written the film with Nellie Kim, while Fanning is a co-producer; shooting is scheduled to begin in early 2017,” the article said.

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Is the Struggle Real?

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A rash of confessional memoirs by middle- and upper-class white women (think Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl) has repositioned feminism not as a political movement, but as a validation for extreme self-exposure. These books have some feminists wondering if they’re doing more harm than good:

What we are seeing now is feminism used as a brand; dislocated and disconnected from any collective political project.

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The Authentic Weakness of Being

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… Initiation into the system of words Beckett was working with in the mid-1960s is more complicated, not least because the system was corrupted, a failure…

Over at the Guardian, Chris Power writes about the short prose of Samuel Beckett, from first attempts “stinking of Joyce” to the complete breakdown of language itself as presented by later work—its glory and difficulty and brilliance and frailty.

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Rest in Peace, Scotty Moore

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Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist passed away this week in Nashville at the age of 84, and in tribute the Guardian has published a piece discussing how the musician shaped Elvis’s country-blues rockabilly sound so evident in songs like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Mystery Train,” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

Scotty Moore’s legacy can possibly best be mapped through how he paved the way for other lead guitarists.

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Censorship in Ukraine

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During anti-government protests in the Ukraine in 2013 and 2014, Oleh Shynkarenko, a journalist and blogger, found himself turning to Facebook after some of his blog posts were deleted, presumably by security forces. What he shared was a novel about about a man whose brain was controlled by the Russian government, published in 100-word snippets on the social media platfrom (where authorities had less power). 

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Liberal Censorship

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In May, Portland’s school board voted to ban textbooks that questioned the severity and human causes of climate change, drawing criticism not only from the right, but from free-speech advocates as well:

“Social studies texts accurately describing the political debate around fossil fuels and climate change, for instance, would presumably contain comments from individuals who ‘express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis’.

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Rabid Puppies Butt Invasion

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The Rabid Puppies, an MRA group trying to overthrow the “progressive conspiracy” poisoning the Hugo Awards for the second year in a row, have continued their fearless activism by nominating Chuck Tingle’s Space Raptor Butt Invasion for Best Novelette. Tingle, author of erotic novelettes such as Unicorn Butt Cops: Beach Patrol and Glazed By The Gay Living Donuts, has responded with the most vicious counter-trolling in Internet history.

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Where Books Meet Their Ends

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For the Guardian, Sam Jordison draws parallels between Don DeLillo’s previous novels (White Noise and Omega) and his most recent novel, Zero K:

In Point Omega, we’re told: “The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever.” In White Noise, meanwhile, Jack Gladney already feels like he is the false character following his name around.

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Poet Tripping

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Carol Ann Duffy, the UK’s poet laureate, has invited three poets to join her on a road trip through England, Wales and Scotland, which will take them from Falmouth to St Andrews over the course of a fortnight.

From June 19 to July 2, Gillian Clarke, the outgoing national poet of Wales, the makar (the national poet of Scotland) Jackie Kay, and Imtiaz Dharker, winner of the Queen’s gold medal for poetry, will be driving with Carol Ann Duffy through Great Britain on the “Shore to Shore” poets tour, to bring their words throughout the country.

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Fifty Shades of Sexism

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A new academic study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior has found that young women who read and enjoy Fifty Shades of Gray are more likely to hold sexist attitudes:

The researchers found that those who had completed at least the first book in the trilogy had “stronger ambivalent, hostile, and benevolent sexist attitudes than those who did not read books in the trilogy”.

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Beyond the Surface

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At the Guardian, Alison Flood wonders whether or not genre writing, particularly romance writing, is primarily “rubbish.” In her investigation, she points out how assumptions are often made about the “surface” elements of genre works and cites literary novels that have used the conventions of genre while maintaining their literariness.

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Leduc Revisited

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To write is to be liberate oneself. Untrue. To write is to change nothing.

Writing for the Guardian, Rafia Zakaria tells us about Violette Leduc: discovered by Simone de Beauvoir and published by Albert Camus, Leduc, the sexually explicit lesbian feminist, was largely unread even in her prime though has always been critically hailed, and her situation today is not much different.

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Fact or Fiction?

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For the Guardian, Richard Lea investigates the distinction between fiction and nonfiction writing, a distinction that exists most firmly in anglophone cultures and literature. Lea interviews several writers who work with texts in other languages, either as bilingual authors or translators, in order to find whether separating stories according to their factual content offers any benefit.

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